SBD/June 13, 2014/Facilities

Poll Shows 63% Of Milwaukee Area Residents Oppose State Funding For Bucks Arena

Few support using state funds for a new arena to replace Bradley Center
A new poll shows that 63% of "registered voters surveyed in southeast Wisconsin oppose spending state funds" for building a new Bucks arena, according to Rich Kirchen of the MILWAUKEE BUSINESS JOURNAL. A minority of 34% of voters "in the five-county Miller Park tax region ... support state funding for a Bucks arena." A sales tax "has yet to be proposed but has been discussed as a way to cover part of the cost for a new arena in downtown Milwaukee" for the Bucks, Marquette Univ. men’s basketball and the AHL Admirals. Statewide support was "even less for funding a Bucks arena," with 24% in favor and 73% opposed. The poll was conducted by the Univ. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Center for Urban Initiatives & Research in cooperation with and WUWM-FM. The "telephone survey of 569 Wisconsin residents was conducted from June 2 to June 5" (, 6/12). In Milwaukee, Don Walker noted most new venues across the country are "paid for through some measure of public tax support." Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has said that the city "can't go it alone in providing tax support for the arena." He has "called for a regional solution." Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce President Timothy Sheehy also is "looking for a regional solution to financing a new arena, and has said some public tax support will be needed." Sheehy said that the poll results "were not surprising given the lack of specifics in the survey questions" (, 6/12).

SHARING IS CARING? Walker noted the "shared ownership agreement that was put in place before Miller Park was built stated that ownership percentages would be recalculated periodically to reflect ongoing capital contributions by either the Brewers or the district." When the ballpark opened in March '01, the district owned 70.93% of it and the Brewers owned 29.07%. But because the Brewers have "invested in the park with such projects as a new scoreboard, the Gehl Club and the retail stores, the new ownership percentages have changed." The new figures, "subject to approval by the stadium district board in September, now have the district owning" 68.46% of the ballpark and the Brewers owning 31.54% (, 6/11).
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